Archive for October, 2012

This week’s midterm review marked the halfway point for the semester and our Facilities Planning studio. Everybody came together in a great show of teamwork at the beginning of the week to finalize the data report, which was the central product of our midterm presentation, and create a poster as well.

The report is divided into three sections: facilities assessment, stakeholder engagement, and transportation assessment. The facilities assessment section contains two-page spreads for each building in the College of Engineering. These illustrate the facilities’ current conditions through pictures, summaries, space evaluations, charts, and quotes from users. Results from the occupancy assessment are also summarized in part one. The second section –Stakeholder Engagement –summarizes specific surveys the studio conducted, including a photo questionnaire and post-occupancy surveys. Finally, the third segment of the report contains information about various transportation surveys undertaken by the studio. The results and conclusions for the bicycle study and origin-destination surveys can be found here.

The purpose of the report is to provide clear, legible descriptions and data for the facilities and traffic patterns surrounding the College of Engineering. This will inform our goals and design strategies in the coming weeks.

The midterm studio review was a great way to provide the other three studios with constructive feedback on their progress, as well as receive feedback on our own efforts. There are four studios this semester, and each displayed their work in the main hall of Knowlton from Wednesday-Friday. Next week, we will comb through the comments from the review and make changes as necessary before pushing forward.

It feels good to have effectively visualized our work. Along the way, each studio member has already gained valuable experience in data collection and analysis as well as learned more about the specifics involved with compiling a report under time constraints. An expression from the beginning of the studio is being realized now –we have blackmailed ourselves into producing deliverables by setting tight deadlines. We have embraced the chaos and we are ready to plow forward.


Renovation Inspiration

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

As the data collection period comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about some broad goals and conceptual designs for the College of Engineering. To get the ideas flowing, our studio toured several recently renovated buildings on campus. Rich Hall, Associate Executive Dean for Research and Facilities, led the tour and specifically highlighted those renovation features that have failed and those that have been highly successful. The tour began at the Biological Sciences Building and moved through Aronoff Laboratory and Cunz Hall before ending at Hagerty Hall.

Two new floors were added to Prior Hall – Spring 2012

The guided tour prepared us for the team renovation assessments that we completed later in the week. Teams headed for Mirror Lake, Pomerene Hall, Thompson Library, Jennings Hall, and several other buildings to examine the various renovations across campus. Some facilities, such as the Ohio Union, are new builds, while other renovation examples can be found in more historic settings, like Hayes Hall. Both types of construction offered important insight into the effects of renovations on facility appearance and functionality.

The ultimate purpose of exploring campus renovation examples was to generate inspiration. Understanding the goals, successes, and failures of completed renovations has helped us visualize similar ideas that could be incorporated into the physical plan for the College of Engineering.

After the assessments, teams presented their findings and impressions to the class. Each team identified several specific features they would like to see translated to the College of Engineering, but a few themes were obvious across the board:

  1. Windows are a hot commodity, and sometimes hard to come by
  2. Transparent work areas encourage interaction and allow natural light
  3. Modern lab spaces are both flexible and comprehensive
  4. Social spaces near elevators and restrooms foster spontaneous interaction
  5. Unique furniture, bright paint, and interesting materials create character



Renovated lab space in the Biological Sciences Building

The design phase is upon us and our studio is ready to deliver. This week we will finish gathering post-occupancy survey information from users across the College of Engineering, which will complete our data sets. We will be challenged to visually diagram the massive amount of information that has been collected over the past seven weeks, but successfully doing so and also reflecting on the renovations we’ve seen will fluently transition us into the physical planning process.